12 x 12"
oil on panel
I usually don't talk to anyone in the museums but I told this woman I loved her shirt. I said it was a work of art itself. She seemed delighted to hear that.
I've also mentioned in prior posts that I'm not a great fan of abstract expressionism, a movement that came along in the 1940-1950's. But there is something that stops me in my tracks when I see a Franz Kline or Robert Motherwell painting - I suppose it's the patterns. Like this woman's shirt.
Franz Kline was born in 1910 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania - a town we hear a lot of during this Presidential campaign. It was a small, coal-mining community, now the state's 13th largest city. I've been there - as a little girl, my dad would take my family for a Saturday drive seeking out one of several authentic Italian delis for lunch in Wilkes-Barre.
Back to Kline ... as a young man, he was sent to an academy in Philadelphia, studied at Boston University then a school of fine art in London, returned to the U.S. working as a designer in New York City. It was there he developed as an artist, gaining recognition.
His style came about using simplified forms based on locomotives, landscapes, large mechanical shapes from his coal-mining hometown. You can see that. His friendships with like-minded artists such as Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock influenced his direction of abstract expressionism - direct and spontaneous brushstrokes which defined him as both an action painter and a minimalist.
Kline tended to avoid defining his art or offering explanations of what his 'message' was, which shows in his titles like his painting you see in my painting - Painting, 1952 which hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago.
Please click here for a larger view.